We went shopping for school supplies Friday. Everyone but Ben packed into the car for Smith’s Marketplace. Ben, was of course, too busy living it up with his friends to take part in something as dull as school supply shopping and simply wrote me a long, detailed list and taped his favorite pencil onto the list so that I could buy dozens just like it. And then he had the gall to ask that I check out the shoes to see if he might like any.
The parking lot was blazing hot and of course Gabe and Mary had no shoes and had to be carried in whining and crying. We met our perfectly groomed, freshly manicured neighbor as we fought over which kind of shipping cart to get(the little kids always want the truck carts because they can sit in front and pretend like they are driving– I never let them have those because they jump out every 30 seconds and terrorize the grocery store. but they still ask every time.) When I told her we were BTS shopping she gasped and said, “I hope it doesn’t cost as much as it did for my two kids! We spent over $100!” I looked at her in dismay as Mary had a wild screming fit over the cart and said, “um, I have six kids. It’s expensive.” Then I felt guilty the rest of the day for being snippy with her.
Hans had the longest list in the school supply section– his teacher has all sorts of detailed requests like,”black ink permanent market with a very fine tip”, “pencil sharpener that contains it’s own shavings”, “spare white sock to for dry erase board”–ha! like I have to buy that. We have a whole basketfull of orphan socks at home. As I deciphered Hansie’s list, Stefan, Xander and Gabriel ran of selecting their own school supplies. I guess I’ve spent too many years telling them they can’t put what ever they want in the cart because they asked my permission for even the simplest of purchases, ” Mom can I get an eraser?” “Can I buy pencils?” “Mom- I need some paper is that OK?” YES! JUST PUT IT IN THE CART!
After an hour in the school supply section we shopped for school lunch supplies. As we stood in front of the fruit packs I queried, “Do you want applesauce? Do you want pears? Do you want cute little mandarin oranges?” They hemmed and hawed over the monumental decision until I said,”Just tell me what you want!” Gabriel immediately broke into song and dance in the grocery store aisle–“Just tell me what you want, what you really really want. I’ll tell you what I want what I really really want.” We all broke out laughing and that was pretty much the highlight of the week.